The talks in the Turkish capital began on September 15 aiming to reach agreements on a framework for winding down conflicts in Syria and Libya. Engaged in the meeting are both sides' speakers for the ministries of foreign affairs, defense and military intelligence. Despite the event's closed-door format, Syrian news agencies, citing diplomatic sources, report the complexity of the ongoing consultations. Thus, the first day witnessed the Russian delegation's urgent suggestion that the Turkish side reduce the number of its observation posts in the Idlib zone and bring it in line with the Astana agreements (a total of 12 facilities).
At present, Turkey has deployed 68 observation posts in the region, with approximately 13,000 troops, more than 100 armored vehicles, 100 rocket launchers and field artillery pieces, several batteries of anti-aircraft guided missiles, as well as other weapons and military equipment.
The Turks flatly refused to cut their military facilities, promising to partially withdraw some samples of heavy equipment and weapons on the second negotiation day.
According to Turkish press reports, the second day was devoted to discussing the situation in Libya. Ankara is seeking Moscow's consent to create a demilitarized zone around the so-called "oil triangle" outside the cities of Sirte and al-Jufra, controlled by troops of Marshal Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA). The Turks propose placing the region under control of a custom-made formation of the Libyan military police to operate under the UN flag and ensure the security of Libyan oil and gas production.
Referring to their sources, Turkish outlets report on the alleged negotiation progress on this issue, without mentioning Russia's counter-suggestion to evacuate all the Turkish-brought foreign mercenaries (over 17 thousand) from Libya. Without observing this condition, a demilitarized zone is out of question: a unilateral decision to this effect is adamantly opposed by both Haftar and the Egyptian leadership, whose attitude Russia maintains.
The Turks were outspokenly critical of the September 13 massive attack by the Russian Airspace Forces on terrorists in northwestern Syria in close vicinity to several Turkish observation posts and military garrisons. But the Russian delegation said the Turks were informed of the upcoming operation in advance, and this matter would not bear discussion.
Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries have yet to declare the outcome of the Ankara talks. There is a good chance those will remain behind the curtain. However, the Russian side will unlikely make unilateral concessions, both on Syria and on Libya. A compromise is possible, but only if Turkish troops and foreign mercenaries are withdrawn from both countries.
But one can no longer trust the Ottomans in any case: you can’t swing a cat without hitting a swindle. We should also bear in mind and be guided by a popular proverb saying that "to every high mountain, there is a higher one"...
Exactly so and no other way!